Posted on January 9, 2007 In Blog

Last night, the Maryland Non-Public Schools Legislative Coalition, of which the OU/IPA is a founding member, held 17 separate Legislative Forums across the state — with over 5,000 people attending. The OU’s press release is here.

The agenda was short — and pretty straightforward. Members of the State Senate and House of Delegates were asked to support:

1. Restoring cut funds to the textbook/technology program;
2. Including all teachers statewide in the teacher training tax credit; and
3. Passing BOAST Maryland, a corporate tax credit proposal to bring $25 million in new money to schools across the state.

As we see it, these are “gimmes”. They should be uncontroversial and they are, for the state, cheap. And these proposals are nonpartisan in nature. The textbook program was the brainchild of then Governor Parris Glendening, a Democrat. Teacher training — especially on courses they are paying for themselves out of pocket is capped at $1,500 per teacher per year. We don’t see why only teachers in public schools get to claim the credit.

And, as we’ve said time and again, the Education Tax Credit is a boon to public and private schools wherever it has been enacted. And wherever it has been enacted — and expanded — its been overwhelmingly done by Democrats — including former DNC Chairman Ed Rendell, the Governor of Pennsylvania, as well as Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, to name just two of the most successful programs in the nation. BOAST, by the way, is modeled on the Pennsylvania model.

That doesn’t mean we think it will be smooth sailing — or that opponents will not try to derail this, but we can’t see why.